The Future Is Female: The 10 Best Science Fiction Books by Women

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* Explore ten great science fiction novels written by female authors
* From dystopian futures to alternate realities, they create rich worlds
* Many also feature strong female protagonists

It’s often said that science fiction has the ability to predict the future, but for many years, these sci-fi tales have been told by mostly men. To celebrate strong female voices, SPY has found ten novel written by excellent female science fiction authors, many exploring poignant themes such as racial and sexual inequality.

1. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

This classic is considered a young adult novel, but its broad philosophical themes and rich characters make it required reading for any age. Read it now, then watch the critically-acclaimed film, starring Reese Witherspoon and Oprah Winfrey.

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2. The Dispossessed by Ursula K Le Guin

A prolific and critically-acclaimed sci-fi author, this novel by Le Guin follows a brilliant physicist surviving in an anarchist society that’s been cut off from the rest of the universe. In order to save it, he must journey to a Utopian mother planet, Anarres.

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3. The Gate to Women’s Country by Sheri S Tepper

In a stark contrast to today’s society, this novel is set in Woman’s Country, a land run and populated purely by women, guarded by a protective wall. While women are in sole possession of the secrets of civilization, a battle of the sexes ensues as men attempt to figure them out.

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4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Few books deserve the title “global phenomenon,” but The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is most definitely one of these books. The first in a trilogy, it’s sold over 23 million copies worldwide and spawned a wildly successful movie franchise.

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5. Bellwether by Connie Willis

Connie Willis, a Nebula and Hugo Award winner, brings a novel that confronts the terrifying power of corporations in a dystopian future through the unlikely connection between a very different young boy and girl.

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6. The Children of Men by PD James

Adapted into an award-winning film starring Clive Owen and directed by Alfonso Cuaron, this gripping novel explores earth in the near future, in the wake of a shocking discovery – no women can get pregnant any more.

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7. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Hailed by many as the novel we need right now, this searing, feminist vision examines a dystopian world where a woman’s value is determined purely by her body. It’s been adapted into a Emmy-winning TV show starring Mad Men‘s Elisabeth Moss.

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8. Woman on the Edge of Time: A Novel by Marge Piercy

At the center of this novel is a heartbreaking story of a woman misunderstood and abused by society, while also exploring themes such as racial and sexual equality, all through the catalyst of a visit from an envoy from 2137.

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9. Kindred by Octavia E Butler

This harrowing tale tells the story of a modern black woman who is drawn back to slave quarters for increasingly longer periods of time, until it becomes uncertain if she will make it back at all.

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10. The Female Man by Joanna Russ

Set in an alternate past where the great depression never ended, this novel follows four very different women from four very different worlds, where men and women are locked in a perpetual struggle for power.

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